Are you a gambler?  I am and I’m not.  I will gamble with risk and my efforts to grow business. But I don’t like to gamble with hard-earned money haphazardly.

gamblingLast weekend I spent 4 days with my five siblings in Las Vegas celebrating one sibling’s 50th birthday (not me yet). Of course there was a big focus on actually gambling while we were there.  Being the ‘thinker’ I am,  I assessed the potential for winning in the casinos (yes, I even did some on-line research prior to the trip), and I learned something about my risk tolerance … that I personally will risk more if I have some control over the outcome.

Just plugging cash into random machines seemed so passive – but a machine for playing poker where I actually took action or black jack seemed a better fi t for me.  For the ‘table’ games – I was much more comfortable with the games that I again had more control over and could make some decisions. Playing any of the games that relied on other player’s – craps, roulette, Texas Hold ‘Em, etc. seemed too risky.

In the end, I was down about $10 for the weekend which was worth it for the ‘fun’ I had. Others in my party were down a LOT more!  I watched as they randomly added money to their bets and risked more. I watched their cash deplete quickly. And one thing I knew for certain…I’m glad I am in the career I am.

You see, in sales, we do take risks every day – we do ‘gamble’ a bit at times – but we have more control over our  ‘winning’ or success than we do in casinos. How?  Because our actions and decisions matter.  When we take the following actions we increase our ‘odds’ of winning many times over.

  • Plan – assessing the odds and putting together a strategy or approach works more often than it doesn’t.
  • Research – by learning about our industry, products/services, competitors and prospects allows us to ‘play our hand’ more successfully.
  • Use resources effectively – people and tools – allows us to spread the risk and leverage our efforts.

If you want to increase your probability of success – be a smart gambler with your time and efforts. No sense in leaving your hard earned money ‘on the table’.